Keith L. Bildstein
Other affiliations: Winthrop University, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants ...read more
Bio: Keith L. Bildstein is an academic researcher from Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. The author has contributed to research in topics: Population & Vulture. The author has an hindex of 33, co-authored 133 publications receiving 4231 citations. Previous affiliations of Keith L. Bildstein include Winthrop University & University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: In this paper, a review of known ecological effects of tropical storms and hurricanes indicates that storm timing, frequency, and intensity can alter coastal wetland hydrology, geomorphology, biotic structure, energetics, and nutrient cycling.
Abstract: Global climate change is expected to affect temperature and precipitation patterns, oceanic and atmospheric circulation, rate of rising sea level, and the frequency, intensity, timing, and distribution of hurricanes and tropical storms. The magnitude of these projected physical changes and their subsequent impacts on coastal wetlands will vary regionally. Coastal wetlands in the southeastern United States have naturally evolved under a regime of rising sea level and specific patterns of hurricane frequency, intensity, and timing. A review of known ecological effects of tropical storms and hurricanes indicates that storm timing, frequency, and intensity can alter coastal wetland hydrology, geomorphology, biotic structure, energetics, and nutrient cycling. Research conducted to examine the impacts of Hurricane Hugo on colonial waterbirds highlights the importance of long-term studies for identifying complex interactions that may otherwise be dismissed as stochastic processes. Rising sea level and even modest changes in the frequency, intensity, timing, and distribution of tropical storms and hurricanes are expected to have substantial impacts on coastal wetland patterns and processes. Persistence of coastal wetlands will be determined by the interactions of climate and anthropogenic effects, especially how humans respond to rising sea level and how further human encroachment on coastal wetlands affects resource exploitation, pollution, and water use. Long-term changes in the frequency, intensity, timing, and distribution of hurricanes and tropical storms will likely affect biotic functions (e.g., community structure, natural selection, extinction rates, and biodiversity) as well as underlying processes such as nutrient cycling and primary and secondary productivity. Reliable predictions of global-change impacts on coastal wetlands will require better understanding of the linkages among terrestrial, aquatic, wetland, atmospheric, oceanic, and human components. Developing this comprehensive understanding of the ecological ramifications of global change will necessitate close coordination among scientists from multiple disciplines and a balanced mixture of appropriate scientific approaches. For example, insights may be gained through the careful design and implementation of broad-scale comparative studies that incorporate salient patterns and processes, including treatment of anthropogenic influences. Well-designed, broad-scale comparative studies could serve as the scientific framework for developing relevant and focused long-term ecological research, monitoring programs, experiments, and modeling studies. Two conceptual models of broad-scale comparative research for assessing ecological responses to climate change are presented: utilizing space-for-time substitution coupled with long-term studies to assess impacts of rising sea level and disturbance on coastal wetlands, and utilizing the moisture-continuum model for assessing the effects of global change and associated shifts in moisture regimes on wetland ecosystems. Increased understanding of climate change will require concerted scientific efforts aimed at facilitating interdisciplinary research, enhancing data and information management, and developing new funding strategies.
University of Missouri1, Dartmouth College2, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary3, Oregon State University4, Clemson University5, United States Fish and Wildlife Service6, Environment Canada7, University of Florida8, United States Geological Survey9, Smithsonian Institution10, Trent University11, University of California, Santa Barbara12, Tulane University13
TL;DR: Stable-isotope methodology has offered an opportunity to identify linkages between breeding and wintering sites, which facilitates understanding the complete annual cycle of birds, one of the poorest-understood events in a bird's life.
Abstract: Migratory bird needs must be met during four phases of the year: breeding season, fall migration, wintering, and spring migration; thus, management may be needed during all four phases. The bulk of research and management has focused on the breeding season, although several issues remain unsettled, including the spatial extent of habitat influences on fitness and the importance of habitat on the breeding grounds used after breeding. Although detailed investigations have shed light on the ecology and population dynamics of a few avian species, knowledge is sketchy for most species. Replication of comprehensive studies is needed for multiple species across a range of areas, Information deficiencies are even greater during the wintering season, when birds require sites that provide security and food resources needed for survival and developing nutrient reserves for spring migration and, possibly, reproduction. Research is needed on many species simply to identify geographic distributions, wintering sites, habitat use, and basic ecology. Studies are complicated, however, by the mobility of birds and by sexual segregation during winter. Stable-isotope methodology has offered an opportunity to identify linkages between breeding and wintering sites, which facilitates understanding the complete annual cycle of birds. The twice-annual migrations are the poorest-understood events in a bird's life. Migration has always been a risky undertaking, with such anthropogenic features as tall buildings, towers, and wind generators adding to the risk. Species such as woodland specialists migrating through eastern North America have numerous options for pausing during migration to replenish nutrients, but some species depend on limited stopover locations. Research needs for migration include identifying pathways and timetables of migration, quality and distribution of habitats, threats posed by towers and other tall structures, and any bottlenecks for migration. Issues such as human population growth, acid deposition, climate change, and exotic diseases are global concerns with uncertain consequences to migratory birds and even less-certain remedies. Despite enormous gaps in our understanding of these birds, research, much of it occurring in the past 30 years, has provided sufficient information to make intelligent conservation efforts but needs to expand to handle future challenges.
University of Missouri1, Dartmouth College2, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary3, Oregon State University4, Clemson University5, United States Fish and Wildlife Service6, Canadian Wildlife Service7, University of Florida8, United States Geological Survey9, Smithsonian Institution10, Trent University11, University of California, Santa Barbara12, Tulane University13
TL;DR: periodic reviews focus future research and inform conservation and management; here, the combined experiences working on Western Hemisphere avian migration systems are taken advantage to highlight recent lessons and critical gaps in knowledge.
Abstract: Our understanding of migratory birds' year-round ecology and evolution remains patchy despite recent fundamental advances. Periodic reviews focus future research and inform conservation and management; here, we take advantage of our combined experiences working on Western Hemisphere avian migration systems to highlight recent lessons and critical gaps in knowledge. Among topics discussed are: (1) The pipeline from pure to applied researchers leaves room for improvement. (2) Population limitation and regulation includes both seasonal and between-season interactions. (3) The study of movements of small-bodied species remains a major research frontier. (4) We must increase our understanding of population connectivity. (5) With few exceptions, population regulation has barely been investigated. (6) We have increasingly integrated landscape configuration of habitats, large-scale habitat disturbances, and habitat quality impacts into models of seasonal and overall demographic success. (7) The post-breeding seas...
01 Dec 2013
TL;DR: The new Env-DATA system enhances Movebank, an open portal of animal tracking data, by automating access to environmental variables from global remote sensing, weather, and ecosystem products from open web resources.
Abstract: BackgroundThe movement of animals is strongly influenced by external factors in their surrounding environment such as weather, habitat types, and human land use. With advances in positioning and sensor technologies, it is now possible to capture animal locations at high spatial and temporal granularities. Likewise, scientists have an increasing access to large volumes of environmental data. Environmental data are heterogeneous in source and format, and are usually obtained at different spatiotemporal scales than movement data. Indeed, there remain scientific and technical challenges in developing linkages between the growing collections of animal movement data and the large repositories of heterogeneous remote sensing observations, as well as in the developments of new statistical and computational methods for the analysis of movement in its environmental context. These challenges include retrieval, indexing, efficient storage, data integration, and analytical techniques.ResultsThis paper contributes to movement ecology research by presenting a new publicly available system, Environmental-Data Automated Track Annotation (Env-DATA), that automates annotation of movement trajectories with ambient atmospheric observations and underlying landscape information. Env-DATA provides a free and easy-to-use platform that eliminates technical difficulties of the annotation processes and relieves end users of a ton of tedious and time-consuming tasks associated with annotation, including data acquisition, data transformation and integration, resampling, and interpolation. The system is illustrated with a case study of Galapagos Albatross (Phoebastria irrorata) tracks and their relationship to wind, ocean productivity and chlorophyll concentration. Our case study illustrates why adult albatrosses make long-range trips to preferred, productive areas and how wind assistance facilitates their return flights while their outbound flights are hampered by head winds.ConclusionsThe new Env-DATA system enhances Movebank, an open portal of animal tracking data, by automating access to environmental variables from global remote sensing, weather, and ecosystem products from open web resources. The system provides several interpolation methods from the native grid resolution and structure to a global regular grid linked with the movement tracks in space and time. The aim is to facilitate new understanding and predictive capabilities of spatiotemporal patterns of animal movement in response to dynamic and changing environments from local to global scales.
TL;DR: How methods were developed to estimate the strength of thermal and orographic uplift using publicly available digital weather and topography datasets at continental scale is reported on.
Abstract: Soaring birds migrate in massive numbers worldwide. These migrations are complex and dynamic phenomena, strongly influenced by meteorological conditions that produce thermal and orographic uplift as the birds traverse the landscape. Herein we report on how methods were developed to estimate the strength of thermal and orographic uplift using publicly available digital weather and topography datasets at continental scale. We apply these methods to contrast flight strategies of two morphologically similar but behaviourally different species: golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, and turkey vulture, Cathartes aura, during autumn migration across eastern North America tracked using GPS tags. We show that turkey vultures nearly exclusively used thermal lift, whereas golden eagles primarily use orographic lift during migration. It has not been shown previously that migration tracks are affected by species-specific specialisation to a particular uplift mode. The methods introduced herein to estimate uplift components and test for differences in weather use can be applied to study movement of any soaring species.
TL;DR: Preface to the Princeton Landmarks in Biology Edition vii Preface xi Symbols used xiii 1.
Abstract: Preface to the Princeton Landmarks in Biology Edition vii Preface xi Symbols Used xiii 1. The Importance of Islands 3 2. Area and Number of Speicies 8 3. Further Explanations of the Area-Diversity Pattern 19 4. The Strategy of Colonization 68 5. Invasibility and the Variable Niche 94 6. Stepping Stones and Biotic Exchange 123 7. Evolutionary Changes Following Colonization 145 8. Prospect 181 Glossary 185 References 193 Index 201
31 Jan 1963
TL;DR: A conceptual framework depicting the interplay among four basic mechanistic components of organismal movement is introduced, providing a basis for hypothesis generation and a vehicle facilitating the understanding of the causes, mechanisms, and spatiotemporal patterns of movement and their role in various ecological and evolutionary processes.
Abstract: Movement of individual organisms is fundamental to life, quilting our planet in a rich tapestry of phenomena with diverse implications for ecosystems and humans. Movement research is both plentiful and insightful, and recent methodological advances facilitate obtaining a detailed view of individual movement. Yet, we lack a general unifying paradigm, derived from first principles, which can place movement studies within a common context and advance the development of a mature scientific discipline. This introductory article to the Movement Ecology Special Feature proposes a paradigm that integrates conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and empirical frameworks for studying movement of all organisms, from microbes to trees to elephants. We introduce a conceptual framework depicting the interplay among four basic mechanistic components of organismal movement: the internal state (why move?), motion (how to move?), and navigation (when and where to move?) capacities of the individual and the external factors affecting movement. We demonstrate how the proposed framework aids the study of various taxa and movement types; promotes the formulation of hypotheses about movement; and complements existing biomechanical, cognitive, random, and optimality paradigms of movement. The proposed framework integrates eclectic research on movement into a structured paradigm and aims at providing a basis for hypothesis generation and a vehicle facilitating the understanding of the causes, mechanisms, and spatiotemporal patterns of movement and their role in various ecological and evolutionary processes. "Now we must consider in general the common reason for moving with any movement whatever." (Aristotle, De Motu Animalium, 4th century B.C.).
TL;DR: Mangroves are woody plants that grow at the interface between land and sea in tropical and sub-tropical latitudes where they exist in conditions of high salinity, extreme tides, strong winds, high temperatures and muddy, anaerobic soils, creating unique ecological environments that host rich assemblages of species.
Abstract: Mangroves are woody plants that grow at the interface between land and sea in tropical and sub-tropical latitudes where they exist in conditions of high salinity, extreme tides, strong winds, high temperatures and muddy, anaerobic soils. There may be no other group of plants with such highly developed morphological and physiological adaptations to extreme conditions. Because of their environment, mangroves are necessarily tolerant of high salt levels and have mechanisms to take up water despite strong osmotic potentials. Some also take up salts, but excrete them through specialized glands in the leaves. Others transfer salts into senescent leaves or store them in the bark or the wood. Still others simply become increasingly conservative in their water use as water salinity increases Morphological specializations include profuse lateral roots that anchor the trees in the loose sediments, exposed aerial roots for gas exchange and viviparous waterdispersed propagules. Mangroves create unique ecological environments that host rich assemblages of species. The muddy or sandy sediments of the mangal are home to a variety of epibenthic, infaunal, and meiofaunal invertebrates Channels within the mangal support communities of phytoplankton, zooplankton and fish. The mangal may play a special role as nursery habitat for juveniles of fish whose adults occupy other habitats (e.g. coral reefs and seagrass beds). Because they are surrounded by loose sediments, the submerged mangroves' roots, trunks and branches are islands of habitat that may attract rich epifaunal communities including bacteria, fungi, macroalgae and invertebrates. The aerial roots, trunks, leaves and branches host other groups of organisms. A number of crab species live among the roots, on the trunks or even forage in the canopy. Insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals thrive in the habitat and contribute to its unique character. Living at the interface between land and sea, mangroves are well adapted to deal with natural stressors (e.g. temperature, salinity, anoxia, UV). However, because they live close to their tolerance limits, they may be particularly sensitive to disturbances like those created by human activities. Because of their proximity to population centers, mangals have historically been favored sites for sewage disposal. Industrial effluents have contributed to heavy metal contamination in the sediments. Oil from spills and from petroleum production has flowed into many mangals. These insults have had significant negative effects on the mangroves. Habitat destruction through human encroachment has been the primary cause of mangrove loss. Diversion of freshwater for irrigation and land reclamation has destroyed extensive mangrove forests. In the past several decades, numerous tracts of mangrove have been converted for aquaculture, fundamentally altering the nature of the habitat. Measurements reveal alarming levels of mangrove destruction. Some estimates put global loss rates at one million ha y−1, with mangroves in some regions in danger of complete collapse. Heavy historical exploitation of mangroves has left many remaining habitats severely damaged. These impacts are likely to continue, and worsen, as human populations expand further into the mangals. In regions where mangrove removal has produced significant environmental problems, efforts are underway to launch mangrove agroforestry and agriculture projects. Mangrove systems require intensive care to save threatened areas. So far, conservation and management efforts lag behind the destruction; there is still much to learn about proper management and sustainable harvesting of mangrove forests. Mangroves have enormous ecological value. They protect and stabilize coastlines, enrich coastal waters, yield commercial forest products and support coastal fisheries. Mangrove forests are among the world's most productive ecosystems, producing organic carbon well in excess of the ecosystem requirements and contributing significantly to the global carbon cycle. Extracts from mangroves and mangrove-dependent species have proven activity against human, animal and plant pathogens. Mangroves may be further developed as sources of high-value commercial products and fishery resources and as sites for a burgeoning ecotourism industry. Their unique features also make them ideal sites for experimental studies of biodiversity and ecosystem function. Where degraded areas are being revegetated, continued monitoring and thorough assessment must be done to help understand the recovery process. This knowledge will help develop strategies to promote better rehabilitation of degraded mangrove habitats the world over and ensure that these unique ecosystems survive and flourish.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors conclude that over half of accessible fresh runoff globally is already appropriated for human use, and that more than 1 × 109 people currently lack access to clean drinking water and almost 3 ×109 people lack basic sanitation services, and because the human population will grow faster than increases in the amount of available fresh water, per capita availability of fresh water will decrease in the coming century.
Abstract: Renewable fresh water comprises a tiny fraction of the global water pool but is the foundation for life in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. The benefits to humans of renewable fresh water include water for drinking, irrigation, and industrial uses, for production of fish and waterfowl, and for such instream uses as recreation, transportation, and waste disposal. In the coming century, climate change and a growing imbalance among freshwater supply, consumption, and population will alter the water cycle dramatically. Many regions of the world are already limited by the amount and quality of available water. In the next 30 yr alone, accessible runoff is unlikely to increase more than 10%, but the earth's population is projected to rise by approximately one-third. Unless the efficiency of water use rises, this imbalance will reduce freshwater ecosystem services, increase the number of aquatic species facing extinction, and further fragment wetlands, rivers, deltas, and estuaries. Based on the scientific evidence currently available, we conclude that: (1) over half of accessible freshwater runoff globally is already appropriated for human use; (2) more than 1 × 109 people currently lack access to clean drinking water and almost 3 × 109 people lack basic sanitation services; (3) because the human population will grow faster than increases in the amount of accessible fresh water, per capita availability of fresh water will decrease in the coming century; (4) climate change will cause a general intensification of the earth's hydrological cycle in the next 100 yr, with generally increased precipitation, evapotranspiration, and occurrence of storms, and significant changes in biogeochemical processes influencing water quality; (5) at least 90% of total water discharge from U.S. rivers is strongly affected by channel fragmentation from dams, reservoirs, interbasin diversions, and irrigation; and (6) globally, 20% of freshwater fish species are threatened or extinct, and freshwater species make up 47% of all animals federally endangered in the United States. The growing demands on freshwater resources create an urgent need to link research with improved water management. Better monitoring, assessment, and forecasting of water resources will help to allocate water more efficiently among competing needs. Currently in the United States, at least six federal departments and 20 agencies share responsibilities for various aspects of the hydrologic cycle. Coordination by a single panel with members drawn from each department, or by a central agency, would acknowledge the diverse pressures on freshwater systems and could lead to the development of a well-coordinated national plan.